NEWARK, Del. - - The first career double-double by Jennifer Carr helped pace the Wilmington University women's basketball team to a 66-55 victory over visiting Mercy on Monday night at the WU Athletics Complex.
The Wildcats (2-5 overall) stopped a two game losing streak with the victory, but nearly let it slip away as they gave up a 13 point lead in the second half to briefly trail Mercy (1-4 overall) with 8:24 remaining on the clock.
But after the Mavericks took a 47-46 lead with 8:24 to play, the Wildcats went on a game clinching 15-2 run over the next 5:27 of game action to take a commanding 61-49 lead with 2:57 remaining in regulation. A jumper by Tenicia Spence gave the Wildcats a double-digit lead with 5:20 to play before they added two single foul shots to gain their largest lead at 12 down the stretch.
Trailing by one, Spence went to the line and hit both ends of a 1-and-1 to give the lead back to the home team. Jocelyn Rodriguez put back an offensive rebound to put the Wildcats ahead by three at 50-47.
The Mavericks were able to close within one point once again with a layup on their ensuing possession, but then the Wildcats rattled off 11 straight points, started by back-to-back-to-back buckets by Spence, Rodriguez, and Carr to secure their second victory of the young season.
Leading by six at the halftime break, a quick 7-0 spurt aided by a three-pointer by Spence, a jumper by Cari Callaway and a layup by Jasmine Lee gave the Wildcats their largest lead at 13 points at 39-26 with 18:54 to play.
Still leading by double-digits at 44-34 with 14:15 to play, the Mavericks clawed back with a 13-2 run of their own to take the brief one-point lead at 47-46.
Carr scored six points and pulled six rebounds in the second half alone, leading to her first career double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds, eight of which came on the defensive end, off the bench. Spence paced the Wildcats offensively with 22 points, adding eight rebounds of her own. Callaway was the final Wildcat to finish in double-digits, adding 11 points, hitting two three-pointers while also grabbing six rebounds in her first start of the season.
Mercy also had three players in double-figures, led by Maria Nardulli's 18 points off the bench. Tanayzha Augustine also collected a double-double with 11 points and a game high 16 rebounds while Pam Sosa added 10 points for the Mavericks.
Wilmington now has a week to prepare for Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference foe Holy Family, as the Wildcats' four game home stand comes to a close next Monday, December 16. The CACC battle is set to begin at 6 p.m. at the WU Athletics Complex.